TEENAGERS from a York education programme have shared their experiences of the danger-drug mephedrone and told how easy it is obtain the legal high.

The 16 to 19-year-olds were attending an educational event in Fulford yesterday run by Drugs Education Active Learning (DEAL), where they were told the facts about legal drugs such as mephedrone, alcohol and cigarettes.

After the session, 19-year-old Anne Marie, a student at E2E (Entry to Employment) a pre-apprenticeship learning course, said she had tried mephedrone, also known as M-Cat, along with many of her friends.

She said: “A lot of my friends are into it. I have tried it once, but I didn’t like it – it was pretty boring.

“It wakes you up and gives you a bit of a buzz, but I was just grinding my teeth.”

She described the effects as neither pleasant nor unpleasant.

“I became aware of it in the autumn when a friend offered me some. She gets it all the time. You can get it for £10 a gram.”

The effects are easy to spot in young people, according to Laura Jarrett, a tutor at the Clifford Street-based organisation.

She said: “We deal with a lot of personal and social issues and we have noticed that M-Cat is becoming more prevalent.

“We wanted the students to be aware of what can happen to them. Before they make a decision to take it we want them to know what the implications are.”

E2E offers learning to young people who are not in education, training or employment.

Drugs education worker Steve Banton spoke at yesterday’s workshop.

He said: “I have come to speak about M-Cat because there seems to be a problem here in York, as well as the rest of the country.

“It’s a big problem nationwide, and people know they can’t be arrested over it so they use it all the more.”

The Press launched its campaign for the drug, commonly known as bubbles, meow meow or M-CAT, to be made illegal last month when a 17-year-old boy at Woldgate College, in Pocklington, collapsed and had to be rushed to hospital after taking it. Since then, we have collected more than 200 signatures backing our campaign.

The drug can cost as little as £3 a dose, and has become increasingly popular among young people in North and East Yorkshire. It is commonly found in plant food and is perfectly legal.

Have you or your family been affected?

Phone Jennifer Bell at The Press on 01904 653051 ext 315 or email jennifer.bell@thepress.co.uk

• Police in Wigan are investigating the death of 20-year-old woman who is believed to have fallen ill after experimenting with mephedrone.

Steph Howard lost her fight for life on Tuesday after being taken to hospital in a critical condition on Saturday. A man and a woman were arrested on suspicion of supplying a controlled drug and remain in police custody for questioning.